All types of ivy plants make a gorgeous, exciting addition to your array of garden plants. Whether you prefer an outdoor or indoor garden, ivy will add a splash of bright, lush foliage to any plant collection.
There are several varieties of the ivy plants, and in this article, we will talk about the most popular ivy plants with pictures. We’ll share tips on caring for your ivy, as well as characteristics of the well-known ivy plants.
Characteristics of Ivy Plants
Below are some general characteristics of ivy plants.
When picking out an ivy to plant, you will want to research its climbing and growing capacity. If you live in a small apartment, you may not want a plant that grows up to 100ft.
Also, some ivies grow better as ground cover, rather than vertically. The best ivy plants for climbing are Algerian, Boston, English, and Bullock’s heart ivies.
The best ivy for growing indoors is English Ivy. English Ivy (Hedera Helix) is available in a wide range of beautiful different varieties. Indoor ivy is fairly easy to grow and can be displayed in many different creative ways.
Ivy with aggressive growth tendencies can become invasive at a rapid rate. That means that the intense growth may take over other habitats, even strangling other plants in the process. Always plant ivy with this characteristic in mind.
Some ivies produce fruits, while others produce flowers or only leaves. Fruits on ivy plants typically bloom in the fall. However, these fruits are not to be consumed. They contain high hederine content, which is toxic. Make sure that pets and small children are not at risk for consuming ivy fruits.
Ivy plants generally grow luscious green leaves. Ivy leaves range from yellow-green to a shade of dark, shiny green. Some ivy plant leaves will feature a yellow and or white border or accents. It’s also common for ivy plants to have purple stems.
Benefits of Ivy Plants
Ivy plants are easy to grow, making them a great plant for beginners to experiment with. Certain species of ivy can be grown on walls or in hanging basics. Others make beautiful table decorations or outdoor wall growth.
Birds are highly attracted to ivy plants. When your outdoor plants become a gathering place for feathered friends, they help eliminate dangerous pests or annoying insects.
Ivy can be grown on pergolas and patios to create shade in yards and gardens. It’s also attractive on gates, walls, or fountains that need a bit of sprucing up.
Ivy possesses medicinal benefits. It can act as an anti-inflammatory, anti-arthritic, and allergy reducer. These are just a few of the healing properties the plant has. Just remember to always speak to your doctor before making changes to your healthcare treatment or regimen. Never ingest the plant itself.
Types of Ivy Plants With Pictures
Here is an insightful list of the most common and popular ivy plants.
English Ivy (Hedera Helix)
- Most common ivy plant in the US and Europe
- Can grow up to 100 feet tall or long
- Can tolerate a wide range of climate conditions
- Very low maintenance and requires little care
Goodchild Ivy (Hedera Helix)
- A popular type of English Ivy
- Light green leaves have a brilliant yellow border
- Appropriate as a house plant or ground cover
- Grows up to 3ft
Ivalace Ivy (Hedera Helix)
- Another common English Ivy
- Boasts dark, shiny leaves
- Grows quickly
- Makes a great low maintenance houseplant
Persian Ivy (Hedera Colchica)
- Grows large, heart-shaped leaves
- Vigorous growth habits that must be controlled
- Needs a medium amount of moisture to thrive
- Grows best in warm, shaded conditions
Nepalese Ivy (Hedera Nepalensis)
- Native to Nepal and accustomed to high altitudes
- Sensitive to heat and tolerant of frost
- Also known as Himalayan Ivy
- Grows best in partial shade
Canarian Ivy (Hedera Canariensis)
- Also known as Algerian Ivy or North African Ivy
- Can endure incredibly tough conditions
- Leave can be up to 8 inches long
- Grows even more rapidly than English Ivy
Irish Ivy (Hedera Hibernica)
- Found in the wild of countries surrounding the Atlantic Ocean
- Will grow in any lighting conditions
- Prefers moist soil
- Produces tiny yellow flowers in the fall
Japanese Ivy (Hedera Rhombea)
- Grows on tree trunks and slopes in East Asia
- Purple stems and green leaves
- Produces small flowers that grow into blue-black berries
- Known to be an evergreen wood climber
Boston Ivy (Parthenocissus tricuspidata)
- Not a part of the ivy Hedera genus
- Part of the grape family
- Loses its leaves unlike other “true” ivy plants
- Produces clusters of green flowers which are followed by grapes
Russian Ivy (Hedera Pastuchovii)
- Lives natively in Iran, Armenia and Russia
- Can reach heights of up to 100ft
- Considered to be an evergreen perennial
- Will not crawl – should be planted to grow upwards
Swedish Ivy (Plectranthus Australis)
- Grows well as ground cover
- Vines reach a maximum length of 3 feet
- Produces white to purple flowers throughout the year
- Thrives in partial shade
Caring for Ivy Plants
Ivy will need to occasionally pruned to prevent rapid overgrowth. Pruning ivy regularly will also help keep it under control and away from other plants.
If you have ivy as ground cover outdoors, keep it manageable so it does not take over your other landscaping. You may even want to spray it with insecticidal soap to control pests and mites.
Ivy needs partial to full sun. A majority of ivy plants will grow healthiest in moist soil conditions, but some can handle drought better than others.
If you grow ivy in pots, each plant should be repotted with new soil every year. This process will help refresh tired plants. You may notice that your ivy will probably start to grow more effectively when it gets fresh soil.
Some ivy plants, such as English ivy, can benefit from houseplant food. English Ivy appreciates being fed every couple of weeks in the spring and summer. In the winter, you can reduce fertilizing to once a month.
Make sure that your ivy plant always has proper drainage, as it will not last long in wet conditions. Ivy prefers to have soil on the dryer side.
Frequently Asked Questions About Ivy Plants
Do ivy plants need sunlight?
Yes. Ivy plants need at least partial sunlight. While ivy will slowly grow in low light conditions, it will not thrive to its full potential. Leave indoor ivy plants next to a sunny window if possible.
Is ivy a good indoor plant?
Ivy can be a good indoor plant if you prune it and keep the growth under control. Ivy can easily invade and take over the growth of other nearby plants. Ivy excel at growth in containers and house pots.
Does ivy need a lot of water?
Ivy does not need an overwhelming amount of water. In fact, ivy will be happiest if their soil is a tad on the dry side. Ivy prefers a room temperature of 50 to 70 degrees F. Ivy growing in warmer temperatures will need more water.
Is English Ivy toxic to pets?
Yes! If your pet ingests English Ivy, contact the APCC hotline immediately at (888) 426-4435. Symptoms of poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and hypersalivation. The foliage of an ivy plant is more toxic than the berries.
Ivy plants are beautiful for both indoor and outdoor gardens. They are mostly low maintenance plants that will grow happily in partial sun conditions.
Ivy will grow well in containers, outdoor beds, and trees or trellises. See this article if you’re wondering when the best time will be to plant your garden.
Just remember to keep your pets away from English Ivy, as it’s incredibly toxic if they ingest it.